Since we were already at Higashimaya district, we stopped by another temple around the area called the Kodaiji Temple. It was established in 1605 by the legendary Nene (Kodai-in) in memory of her late husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who is one of Japan’s greatest historical figures. Compared to the temples we’ve visited so far, this one looks more modest. Don’t be fooled, however. During Kodaiji’s prime, its main hall was actually covered in lacquer and gold.
But even in its modest state now, Kodaiji isn’t without its charm. I especially loved its 2 gardens–one of which is a tsukiyama style garden featuring a pond, decorative rocks, man-made hills and pine and maple trees; while the other is a simple rock garden made of raked gravel that represented the vast ocean and is dramatically adorned by this beautiful tree of cherry-colored blossoms. On your way out, you’ll also find a small bamboo grove path leading out to the main street.
As you can see, Kodaiji may not be as grand as the others but it’s definitely as remarkable. It makes visitors feel serene and at peace, which if you ask me, should be what temples are all about.